AUBURN — It’s hard to win a game from the penalty box. Edward Little learned that the hard way Monday.
Bonny Eagle capitalized once in seven tries with an extra skater and, more importantly, continued to pin Edward Little deep as the Red Eddies’ parade to the penalty box continued as the Scots skated off with a 2-1 win at Ingersoll Arena.
“We needed that one,” said Bonny Eagle coach Mark Whitman, whose team was coming off a tough loss to Western A rival Noble.
The Eddies did their best to even things up in the final minute of the game. After a pair of tries in close, the puck squirted away from Bonny Eagle keeper Garrett McElrath to his right, but just as one of EL’s forwards was about to raise his arms to celebrate what appeared to be a sure goal, McElrath lunged across the crease and smothered the chance.
“I had that on the board and so did their coach, I think,” Whitman said. “We asked everybody to give us a great effort today, and they gave us a great effort. I can’t be more happy for the kids right now. They needed the ‘W.'”
In all, Edward Little accrued 28 minutes in penalties, and the Eddies had a hard time digging out of their own end after sustained pressure from the Scots during those power plays.
“I think penalties ultimately took us out of the game,” EL coach Craig Latuscha said. “Some good calls, some bad calls, to be quite honest with you. But we had a chance at the end where we could have put the puck in the net, a great chance and goaltender made a good save.”
The Scots succeeded in scoring on their second power play attempt, 5:39 into the first frame, when Shayne Plummer roofed the puck over EL keeper Zachary Gosselin after a rush up the right side.
EL rebounded quickly as Brendon Pelletier went in alone and scored on McElrath on a breakaway at 7:28.
In a benign second period that yielded little offense from either squad, Bonny Eagle managed the lone goal, a Plummer tally on a rebound that squeezed between Gosselin’s skate and the post.
“That second one just squeaked in,” Whitman said. “We kept saying after the first period, we need to bury those chances, we need to put them away. That’s been the problem for us this year, we get a team down, and we can’t seem to capitalize on that.”
The teams steadily traded power play chances in the third. EL had the better of them, outshooting the Scots 10-1 in the third.
“It seemed like they were on a power play all game,” Latuscha said. “You can’t win hockey games when you’re in the penalty box, no matter what team you are. And you have to finish the opportunities you do get. We had some great chances at the end, we could have had one. All season long it’s been like that, we’ve been outshooting teams, we just can’t seem to put the puck in the net.”